2023 AFLW Draft review: Richmond

RICHMOND opted to just take two picks into the 2023 AFL Women’s Draft, but showed the Tigers had a need for speed. With their first round selection, the Tigers pounced on draft bolter Isabel Bacon at Pick 13, with the Sandringham Dragons defender and midfielder heading to Punt Road. With their only other selection, the black and gold called out Tasmanian speedster Mackenzie Ford‘s name with Pick 43.

Isabel Bacon (Sandringham Dragons / Vic Metro)
11/04/2005 | 172cm | Midfielder / Defender

Coming into the Dragons program this season, Bacon made massive strides as the season went on. She quickly developed most elements of her game, becoming a physical and explosive utility. Playing off both half-back and through the middle, Bacon attacks the contest hard and takes plenty of grass along the way. She might be ironing out some areas of her fundamentals, but was one of the fastest at the AFLW Draft Combine, and stands at 172cm which allows her to match it with most other midfielders, and certainly have them beaten athletically.

Mackenzie Ford (Tasmania Devils / Tasmania)
24/04/2005 | 164cm | Midfielder / Wing

In a not too dissimilar gamestyle, Ford is an explosive midfielder who loves the defensive elements of the game, but can also move the ball quickly in transition. A little smaller than Bacon, Ford cracks in and feeds it out to teammates, or backs her leg speed to explode from stoppages and get the ball inside 50. She is no stranger to playing in multiple positions as well, more than capable of slotting on the outside or off a flank, but going in hard is her bread and butter. Ford was the third Tasmanian take in the AFL Women’s Draft.


The Tigers clearly targeted leg speed and defensive pressure as a need in this year’s AFL Women’s Draft, and they got it in Bacon and Ford. Both physically thrive on the contest, and can play in multiple positions which adds another string to their bows. Expect them to be capable of contesting for a spot in the 21 at some point in Season 9.

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